Since I started a consistent practice at the beginning of my YTT program I wondered, “Why do I need a yoga mat?” The idea of using an external object like a mat for internal awareness training seemed foreign to me and now I know why. Props are meant to be used temporarily to deepen poses & cultivate proper body alignment.
Like life one does not do their entire practice with a prop or it becomes a crutch.
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Yoga International explains the origins of the yoga mat and why they may not be a good solution for most.